Write What You Know

A couple years ago, I lost the fight for my cushy, high-paying, only-had-to-work 20 hours a week job to the war of economic down-turn circumstances. It sucked. I was out of work for almost year, trying to pick my life up and figure out what the fuck I was going to do. As my career went down the tubes, so did the money I had. So I moved out my house, and put a renter into it to save me from the perils of foreclosure. All my wordly posessions went into storage. And I moved into my friend’s furnished house until I could figure out what I was doing, and where the hell I was going.  If all that wasn’t enough, I also went through a horrible break-up with a man I’d been with for years; a man I trusted, only to stupidly and quickly step into another relationship (rebound city) with another man, and he ended up being a lousy too. I was a mess. My love life, my career life and my financial life was all in crisis.

I did not Sylvia Plath-it though. I kept my head out of the oven.

For as long as I can remember, I have only ever wanted to write. I’m a writer. I’ve only ever wanted to be a writer.  Being out of work gave me plenty of time to write, but I had other financial responsibilites as well, which laid heavy on my mind.  I had to work and pay bills, so I took a job that I knew I was going to hate wasn’t going to like. The other objective to taking this job was putting myself in a different financial position that wouldn’t have me jumping back into bed with an expensive mortgage. I paid cash for a really cheap fixer-upper, and my intent was to pay hard-earned cash for the improvements and keep my housing expenses really low.  

Seems like a reasonable trade-off, doesn’t? I thought so too.

How does one explain a job one doesn’t like? It’s like being in prison for a crime you didn’t commit. The keys to un-lock the prison doors are somewhere, but you can’t find them. My job is is like a daily dose of having my creative soul sucked dry by a vampire. I haven’t written much, or anything that’s soulful for awhile.  How could I? The Vampire at the prison has had me locked up, sucked dry as a bone.  And yes, it’s been very painful.  At one point there was promise to break-out, and move to Europe with this job, where there would be less creative soul-sucking vampires living about, so there was a skip in my step.  The creative juices were percolating, but those plans fell through based on the economy’s fickle future.

Still, I kept my druthers, and didn’t stick my head into the oven, even though the vampire was having its way with my soul.

Two years’ later and I’m STILL at the job I don’t really like, but my suffering hasn’t been all without reward - after a lot of work, my fixer-upper is nearly complete. And it’s quite lovely. I can see the move-in date in my near future. And, after taking a hiatus from dating, I am involved with a really great man. He’s a keeper. With my house project nearly done  now, this gives me options. Yes, one could argue that I’ve always worn the ruby slippers and had those options standing  right in front of me all along, but for me, having a house provides me with stability, the grounding that I need to feel secure.

I wish I wasn’t like that so much, and had more of that gypsy spirit when I was younger, but as I’ve gotten older, and after feeling like I lost almost everything, to include my creative writing soul, stability is one my Maslow’s Hierarchy Needs.

I will say, living with all my things in storage over the past couple of years has provided me with a different perspective on what one truly needs in life. I do miss all my books and my art work though.

Where was I? Oh yes, options. One of my favorite words and positions. Positions in life. The options of life are bountiful. I feel that I now have a plethora of options because my housing situation is reaching its final stages of  fruition. Options, option, options.

Knowing the prison cell will be un-locked soon, I hope the vampire will finally go away. With that in mind, I’ve been networking quite a bit lately, because I will earn a living as a writer. Damnit! In one of my recent networking connections, I met a veteran writer and she told me after I’d asked her, “if you were me, where would you start, what would you do?” She said with simplest honesty, “just write. Get your name out there. Write what you know.”

Inspired to write now, and to write what I know – I think part of my lesson of losing my job; losing my house; a lousy boyfriend or two, and working at a prison camp is adding to my options of writing experiences. And every coin has two sides. For every heart-ache, there has been a much greater gain. I like to think these past two years have been added options for me to add to my ”write what you know” Resume.


I’ll keep you posted on exercising options, my official move-in date, and keeping the soul-sucking vampires away -
Neve Black

Oscar Countdown Approaches Quickly


Twelve hours from now, and the prestigious red carpet walk will be well underway  for those west coast A-listers. In my salute to the film makers galla event here in Cleveland, EST, I’m usually wearing a ball gown and holding a microphone  in one hand, and a glass of champagne in the other, as I ask each guest  that attends our Ohio/ Hollywood Oscar Party who they’re wearing, and who they want to see win a gold Oscar statue.

I’ve been busy lately and haven’t had the chance to see all of the films nominated this year, let alone shop for a ball gown.  I have seen a few of the films though. I know I’m not the first person to rave about The Artist, nor am I the first to predict this year’s winner. I wonder if other filmies have the same innate ability to spot the winner right away, even if they haven’t seen all the films yet?  

I read about The Artist back in late November in the Los Angeles Times while I was sitting in an airport somewhere waiting for my connecting flight. I remember the reviewers comments about the film too: original, lovable, historical and lovely. 

When I finally got the chance to see the film, I felt the same way the LA reviewer did - and I turned to my friend as the film credits rolled, wiping tears of  joy from my eye’s and said, ”well, that’s this year’s Oscar winner, hands-down.”  


Congratulations to all those nominated this year!
Neve Black